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Oct 23, 2020

Making the Central Medical Lab More Efficient

Doctor Marvin Manzanero has confirmed that there is a back log on processing the COVID-19 samples at the Central Medical Lab. Manzanero shared that the lab was putting in extra hours to catch up with the few hundred samples in backlog. But the Ministry is hopeful that the lab will cut down the time by using a machine they have acquired.  This extraction machine, according to the DHS, will help to cut down the manual work which may see a lot more samples being processed in a shorter time.


Marvin Manzanero

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“One piece of good news in terms of what is happening at the lab is that we got an extraction machine which means that there is no manual extraction. Because once you do a nasal swab you have to do a manual extraction – you have to do it one by one- processing the samples which cause part of the delay and it also exposes the health staff to handling lab specimen. So, that is a part of the delay because you have to do it on a manual basis, one by one before you upload it into the machine for interpretation. So, now that we have gotten what is called an extraction machine that would be an automated process, hopefully. The lab is telling me that the preliminary data seems to suggest that they will be able to take out ninety-six samples every twenty minutes in terms of extraction and placing it into the machine. If that is the case then that will be a significant cut back in terms of time and this is one of two extraction machines that are slated to come to medical lab.”


The acquisition of the extraction machine was made possible through the Belize Electricity Limited. A second machine will be acquired.

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